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Jun 15, 2009 10:56 PM

Wild mushroom questions

Obviously, I'm an inexperienced home cook for asking this question. Trying to make a risotto with wild mushroom and squash from Zuni Cafe Cookbook, which calls for 6 ounces of "wild mushrooms". Recipe states can use porcini, chanterelle or hedgehog. Checked 3 local markets & farmers market and of those, could only find dried porcini. Otherwise, had fresh white, shiitake, bella & baby bella. Unfortunately, no "gourmet" markets nearby.

Should I use dried porcini (I guess I'd need to "rehydrate" them first)? Or, one of the available varieties considered "wild" (baby bella? shiitake?)?

Help please, as I don't know how long the squash I bought's gonna last. Thanks.

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  1. I'd use shitake, bellas and dried porcinis. The combo should work out flavorwise.
    I found fresh porcinis for the first time last week. They were $26 per lb, but they were awesome.

    2 Replies
    1. re: stricken

      Totally agree with stricken here. The shitakes are fantastic in risotto and bring a nice deep mushroom flavor. I live in California and shop a few markets that stock amazing wild mushrooms of all varieties and I almost always go for the shitakes for dishes like this. I'm not a big fan of the taste of rehydrated porcinis, but in a mushroom mix it's fine.

      1. re: stricken

        So, I guess not common for markets to stock fresh porcinis. Wish I knew this before going on my 4-stop wild mushroom hunt with whiney 5yo in tow. :)

      2. yes, rehydrate the dried porcinis; make sure they're free of grit before mixing them w/the other 'shrooms. Also, strain the porcini soaking liquid, and add a little to your risotto with the other broth. It adds an earthy depth to the flavors. And I've found that almost any mushrooms that aren't too delicate work well in a "wild mushroom" mix.

        1. Will head back to the local market & give what's available a try & report back. Thanks for the input everyone.

          1. Used fresh shiitake as they were on sale. Turned out great. Thanks.

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